ACONITASE 3 is part of theANAC017 transcription factor-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction response
journal contributionposted on 07.09.2021, 03:54 by J Pascual, M Rahikainen, M Angeleri, S Alegre, R Gossens, A Shapiguzov, A Heinonen, A Trotta, G Durian, Z Winter, J Sinkkonen, J Kangasjarvi, James WhelanJames Whelan, S Kangasjarvi
Mitochondria are tightly embedded within metabolic and regulatory networks that optimize plant performance in response to environmental challenges. The best-known mitochondrial retrograde signaling pathway involves stress-induced activation of the transcription factor NAC DOMAIN CONTAINING PROTEIN 17 (ANAC017), which initiates protective responses to stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Posttranslational control of the elicited responses, however, remains poorly understood. Previous studies linked protein phosphatase 2A subunit PP2A-B'c, a key negative regulator of stress responses, with reversible phosphorylation of ACONITASE 3 (ACO3). Here we report on ACO3 and its phosphorylation at Ser91 as key components of stress regulation that are induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. Targeted mass spectrometry-based proteomics revealed that the abundance and phosphorylation of ACO3 increased under stress, which required signaling through ANAC017. Phosphomimetic mutation at ACO3-Ser91 and accumulation of ACO3S91D-YFP promoted the expression of genes related to mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, ACO3 contributed to plant tolerance against ultraviolet B (UV-B) or antimycin A-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. These findings demonstrate that ACO3 is both a target and mediator of mitochondrial dysfunction signaling, and critical for achieving stress tolerance in Arabidopsis leaves.